Amen, Sister!


Dreams of disintegrating teeth haunted my adolescence
then crumbled true a few weeks ago.
Well, only one tooth
powdered like the Buddha by Arlee.

Days dissolved into days.
My empty tooth ached for its missing pieces.
That tooth so integral to chewing
cringed at any bite.

And this morning?
After forty five pain free minutes
with a new fixer, a lady dentist, three years in—
I’m chewing again.


Crumbling Buddha


Act well without attachment to the fruits of your action.
                                                                    ~Bhagavad Gita


Uncertainty stretches and relaxes its fingers
moving between fear and choice.
Is everything a balancing act?
A walk on a tightrope?

Take that step and let go.

Open to life’s unfolding.
Weep at the beauty of snow geese rising.
Still yourself in the glory of being.

Trust impermanence like a crumbling Buddha.
Walk both dogs at once.
Rest in uncertainty.

This is what it means to be present.

Is anything more important?





A Spacious Open Heart

Is it weak to show mercy?
To offer forgiveness?

To make smooth the seams of empty promises,
reality moves out of learning to ask—
relinquishing that trembling of mind,
relinquishing fear of the present moment.

Forgiveness is one way to practice mercy.

Reality moves along outside my door.
I was on to a Buddha image and bowing,
when I remembered.
If you see the Buddha in the street, kill him.

Acknowledge oneness.
Abandon delusion through beginning to yield.

Holding on feels brittle, narrow, and confined
like a tight fist, clinging to resentment,
clinging to separation.

There’s a tenderness, a trembling in forgiveness,
a giving that cuts through change,
creating space.
It’s a celebration.
In a single act of opening one’s heart,
brightness grows.

Brenda Warren 2016


Notes: Elizabeth offered a prompt to write about mercy this morning. Lion’s Roar offers several articles by Buddhist teachers online, so I steeped myself in Buddhism to feed my muse before embarking on this write about mercy.



Habits are running late.
You are so hard with your discursive mind.
Take three conscious breaths.
Let it be where you pause.
That gap, when you are stuck.
Drop your discursive mind.
Take three conscious breaths.
Just pause.
Be where you are,
Even if you find yourself.
Receive place with the immediacy
of sacredness.
Create that gap.
Three conscious breaths.
Just pause.
Let it be an open doorway.
Right there.
You are strong.


Brenda Warren 2016


Garden of One Thousand Buddhas   ~   BWarren

Notes: Elizabeth freed us up from prompts so we could revisit an old poem, or… ? I took this opportunity to play with some text manipulation tools. Bonsai is a site where you can enter text, and it cuts it up and regenerates it into something else. I entered an article by Pema Chodron, then copied the mixed up results into my word document. From there, I used the black highlighting tool to “erase” big chunks of text. The finished poem, Breathe, is in the word order that I received at Bonsai, I just formatted it with phrasing and line breaks. The only word I added is breathe both as title and final word.

It was an interesting exercise, and the Bonsai tools are free. Check it out!



Find a crack in language,
move into it with dissension.
Disrupt and disgruntle,
create a chasm,
a miasm.

Parse phrases into
segregated clumps of clay and

you will be the one left
holding arms and charms
and hovering swarms.
A truly cracked sorceress
conjuring confusion.
Never knowing up from down.

Turn around, you clown
let the rain make naked
your face.

Explore emptiness.

Learn to let go of
everything but breath.

Fill in those cracks
with the light
from your shine.

Brenda Warren 2014



Written for Elizabeth’s Day 3 prompt.